October 05, 2016 07:58:48 AM
NEW DELHI (Scrap Monster): The stainless steel imports by the country surged higher significantly during the initial five-month period of the current fiscal, says most recent statistics released by the Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA).
As per figures, the imports during Apr-Aug ’16 totaled 230,000 tonnes, rising by almost 25% when matched with the imports during corresponding period last year. The imports had totaled 184,000 tonnes during the same period in 2015. The imports during the month of August alone totaled nearly 70,000 tonnes, significantly higher when matched with the prior month. The imports of stainless steel flat products hit record high of 532,000 tonnes in 2015-’16, which accounted for one-fourth of the total domestic demand during the year. The imports have soared by over 50% during the past five years, ISSDA noted. Out of this, China alone accounted for 50% of the imports. The imports from that country has more than doubled from 113,000 tonnes in 2013-’14 to 277,000 tonnes in 2015-’16.
ISSDA noted that cheap imports from China and other countries continue to flood the domestic market, causing significant damage to local producers. The trade body called for immediate intervention of the Union government in this matter. It warned that failure to act immediately, would lead to death of the domestic stainless steel industry in the country, which is already reeling under pressure.
According to ISSDA, stainless steel producers in the country have made significant investments over the past several years towards modernization and capacity-addition. The huge investment by domestic stainless steel producers will be of no use, if government does not extend a lending hand at this juncture.
KK Pahuja, the newly appointed president of ISSDA noted that prevailing basic customs duty of 7.5% has proved ineffective in curbing the imports. He urged the government to hike the basic duty on stainless steel imports to at least 12.5%, at par with carbon steel imports. Also, circumvention of anti-dumping duty has failed to check rising imports into the country, he said. ISSDA demanded imposition of provisional countervailing duty on HR and CR flat stainless steel imports from China. The industry leaders are to meet government officials to demand of strict policy actions in order to control inbound shipments, Pahuja added.
Meantime, Russia reported 2.6% jump in stainless steel imports during August this year. The recent data published by the SpetsStal Association shows that the country’s imports totaled 26,171 mt during the month. Category-wise, flat rolled stainless steel imports were up by 7.8%. On the other hand, seamless pipe imports witnessed sharp decline of over 40%. The imports of electric welded seamless steel pipe have dropped by nearly 15% in comparison with July this year. Also, imports of stainless steel billets and pipe fittings declined by 22% and 48% respectively. The country’s stainless steel long products import increased marginally by 0.7% month-on-month in August ’16.